SCA Census 2010

By Master Liam St. Liam
Features Reporter, Pennsic Independent

If you have ever wanted to express your opinion about any aspect of the SCA – from the non-member surcharge to an additional peerage to same-sex consorts – you now have your chance.
The SCA 2010 Census committee, working with the Board of Directors, has set up an open survey on the Internet that seeks answers to a wide variety of questions regarding people’s SCA experiences.
The survey, open to all, is linked on the main page of www.sca.org and the link has been distributed though many e-mail lists and blogs.
Connor MacGillivray, the chairman of the committee, said that smaller surveys of this type have been done in the past, but never reaching out so far and wide.
“The Board of Directors is reaching out to everyone in the SCA, whether members or not, on a society-wide level.”
Connor said the census, which will be open until Dec. 1, is just a first step.
“It’s important for people to know that the Board will not use this information to make any decisions right off the bat,” he said. “This is to get a feel for how people feel about the SCA now and what they want in the future.”
Connor said the census will collect both demographic data and survey data, and added that he has several committee members who are professionals in the field and will help him prepare a report for the Board of Directors.
“The information will be packaged for the Board, and they will also have access to the raw data,” he said. “Anyone will be able to see it. People will have access and can see what the data are.
“This is something that will take a while,” Connor said. “That information will be taken seriously.”
Connor added that he feels this census is a first step toward gathering more information from the populace for the board. “I see this as the first step. We’re setting the bar, and we’re setting it high. That’s how I conceive it. There will be more questions that will come up.”
The survey does not ask for an individual’s name, and those who take it do not have to be SCA members. It asks demographic information, including number of years in the SCA, reasons for joining and staying in, and it seeks to find out what areas of the SCA individuals are interested in. There is also a section for those who have dropped out of the SCA, seeking the reasons for that. For those who have left and returned, there is a section asking why.
The survey also seeks commentary on many widely discussed topics, such as those already mentioned, and asks whether they would prefer a central SCA corporation or individual state corporations. There is ample space for additional commentary.
If you would like to complete the survey today, there is a dedicated computer at Mystic Mail, that can be accessed for free to take the survey.